East End Park is Building a Stronger Community

By Moira Notorgiacomo

The creation of Woodstock’s East End Park has been ongoing for five years and will continue to be developed for several more years. In this time, many members of the community have contributed to its development and the East End Action Group would like to express their gratitude.

Thanks to the generosity of the Town and Village of Woodstock and some very special businesses and individuals volunteering their time and resources, the East End Park is rapidly becoming a place of beauty where members of the community come to enjoy a breathtaking spot along the serene Ottauquechee River. It is a place we can take pride in because we are creating it together; a place that will sustain us as a community; a place of beauty where we can gather and relax together.

Emily Mooney shovels compost as Sally Miller and John Endicott spread it for the new permaculture garden at the East End.

Emily Mooney shovels compost as Sally Miller and John Endicott spread it for the permaculture garden at the East End.

Progress this past year was especially rapid due in large part to the following folks that worked particularly hard to magically transform the park nearly every day. Starting last fall when Mike Burns of MB Pro Landscape Design removed all the metal debris from the river for free enabling safer access to the river, he has always been available to provide advice regarding bank plantings and best practices.

As they have done for the last several years, the Woodstock Garden Club provided left over plants from their plant sale, along with expertise and a grant for the permaculture garden.
Local businesses have stepped up to help, too. Emily Mooney of Pomfret spent several days hauling, clearing and composting the new permaculture garden area. Brian Mattei of Alpaca Grow in Quechee Gorge Village contributed liquid manure. Mary and Carl McCuaig of Top Acres Farm provided straw.

Chippers has been a regular partner since we started the project, and this year they provided regular turf maintenance and aeration through their “Plant a Seed” program. They also delivered wood chips and removed dead trees along the drive.

Over the past year volunteers has logged hundreds of hours, but a few individuals stand out. Derek DeMas headed the courageous and dedicated crew that stayed on top of the knotweed problem all summer and tackled the wild parsnip. Thanks to his constant vigilance over the last few years, the knotweed is looking less vigorous and is more contained. Jim Pierce was there regularly over the summer keeping the park looking good, tidying up and coordinating the mowing and clearing. Michael Rutto of the Woodstock Laundry Room brought his own tractor when he provided lawn maintenance.

Landscape designer Jack Rossi was hired by the East End Action Group to prepare a schematic site plant, but he regularly went above and beyond what he has been paid to do, coordinating on-site projects with local officials and others as well as offering a valued expert opinion on landscape issues.

Finally, Phil Swanson and the Town and Village of Woodstock provided critical support by hauling away debris, improving access to the site, fixing the parking lot, and providing general support.

Through all of these efforts and many more, the East End Park is close to becoming a reality, but it will take some additional funds to make our vision a reality. The East End Action Group is starting fundraising for further improvements this fall and your support is needed to complete this important project. Please send your tax-deductible contributions to Sustainable Woodstock at P.O. Box 611, Woodstock VT 05091 (put East End on the check) or donate online at sustainablewoodstock.org. For more information contact eastend@sustainablewoodstock.org.

No matter what contributions one makes to the park from the hands on labor, planning, fundraising or financially supporting the project, everyone agrees that the project is bringing us together, creating a stronger community.

Just Do One Thing: Stop By and Take a Look at the Progress on the East End Park

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